Dealing With Racism the Right Way

The Story of a Black American Who Befriended KKK Members

Brandon Tumblin
4 min readJan 24


Photo by Sushil Nash on Unsplash

Daryl Davis is a black American who has actually converted members of the KKK to being no longer racist. You heard that right — a black man, who KKK members inherently hate, was able to convince KKK members to give up their cloaks. How did he manage to do this? Was it by yelling at them, telling them that they are racist? Did he organize protests? Or did he simply talk with them?

The Daryl Davis Story

He requested an interview with a KKK national leader. He had some experiences with racism as a kid, and really just wanted to find an answer to the question, in his words: how can you hate me if you don’t even know me?

Stoic Detachment

It’s crucial to understand that Daryl was chasing his curiosity here. He wasn’t an activist, he wasn’t necessarily trying to convert KKK members. No, he was simply curious. What this curiosity did was allow him to be detached from anything that a klan’s member would say. How could what they are saying affect him if they didn’t even know him? That was his thought pattern.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

As a brief comment — imagine how different our world would be if we all shared in that perspective. How much less offended and upset would we be toward each other?

Befriending KKK Members

Anyway, I won’t steal his entire story, but long story short, he began the process of befriending this man after the interview. He would come over to Daryl’s house and have dinner with him. Eventually — meaning y ears later — the KKK leader would invite Daryl over to his house. And he invited him to KKK rallies. That’s right — a black man went to KKK rallies on invitation from a national leader of the KKK.

Eventually, as was bound to happen, the KKK leader turned his robe and denounced them.

What did Daryl do here? Daryl used the magic of friendship to transcend bigotry.



Brandon Tumblin

Host of The Strong Stoic Podcast